AHA members and supporters call for MUP in England in letter to the Daily Telegraph

1 May 2018: In a letter published today by the Daily Telegraph, members and supporters of the Alcohol Health Alliance have said that it is imperative that minimum unit pricing for alcohol is implemented in England, following the roll out of the measure today in Scotland. The text of the letter is as follows:

Sir

Sixty-five people a day die from alcohol related causes in the UK. Hospital admissions linked to alcohol have doubled in 10 years. Almost half of all violent crime is associated with our favourite drug. And over one in three child deaths and serious injuries due to neglect are linked to parental drinking.

Cheap alcohol is at the root of the problem. The real price of alcohol compared to other goods has fallen dramatically over the past 30 years and this has been most pronounced in shops and supermarkets. It is now possible to buy three litres of white cider containing the equivalent of 22 shots of vodka for around £3.50.

The Scottish government recognised the problem and today introduces a minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol which significantly increases the price of the very cheapest products consumed by very heavy drinkers and children. Pub prices will be virtually untouched and moderate drinkers will barely notice the difference. More important, MUP will save lives, cut crime, save money and ease the pressure of Scotland’s public services.

Meanwhile, alcohol will continue to be sold at pocket money prices south of the border. We urge the Westminster Government to introduce MUP in England now. MUP would save an estimated 1,148 lives and prevent 74,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions in England in the first 5 years alone.

Yours sincerely

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair, Alcohol Health Alliance UK

Katherine Brown, Chief Executive, Institute for Alcohol Studies

Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, BMA board of science chair

Dr Liam Brennan, President, Royal College of Anaesthetists

Professor David Galloway, President, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Helen Donovan, Professional Lead for Public Health Nursing, Royal College of Nursing

Professor Colin Drummond, Chair of the Addictions Faculty, Royal College of Psychiatrists

Dr Zul Mirza, Royal College of Emergency Medicine

Dr Jonathan Leach and Dr Victoria Tzortziou Brown, Joint Honorary Secretaries of Royal College of GPs Council

Professor Jane Dacre, President, Royal College of Physicians

Alison Cox, Director for Prevention, Cancer Research UK

Professor Matthew Cramp, President, British Association for the Study of the Liver

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, Royal Society for Public Health

Lord Nicolas Rea, President, UK Health Forum

Dr Kieran Moriarty, British Society of Gastroenterology

Dr Richard Piper, Chief Executive, Alcohol Research UK / Alcohol Concern

Professor John Middleton, President, UK Faculty of Public Health

Catherine Chiang and Dr Jane Bethea, Co-chairs, Alcohol Special Interest Group, Faculty of Public Health

Woody Caan, Professorial Fellow, Royal Society for Public Health

Dr Jennifer Mindell, Faculty of Public Health

Professor Paul Roderick, Faculty of Public Health

Professor Jonathan Shepherd, Cardiff University

Jeremy Swain, Chief Executive, Thames Reach

Lt. Colonel David E Kelly, Secretary for Communications, The Salvation Army

Professor Linda Bauld, UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies

Graham Beech, Chief Executive, Action on Addiction

Nicola Close, Chief Executive, Association of Directors of Public Health

Deborah Jenkins, Interim CEO, Blenheim CDP

Judi Rhys, Chief Executive, British Liver Trust

Alison Douglas, Chief Executive, Alcohol Focus Scotland

Dr Andrew Yeoman, Clinical Lead, Wales Liver Plan

Dr Miles Allison, Immediate Past President, Welsh Association for Gastroenterology and Endoscopy

Dr Peter Rice, Chair, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP)

Dr. Eric Carlin, Director, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP)

Justina Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs

Katherine Hale, Head of Health Information for World Cancer Research Fund UK

Nicky Saunter, Chief Executive, Transform Drug Policy Foundation

Chris Record, Consultant Hepatologist, Newcastle upon Tyne

Professor Robin Touquet, Emeritus Professor of Emergency Medicine, Imperial College London & St Mary’s Hospital Paddington

Prof Frank Murray MD, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Dublin

Dr Stephen Willott, GP, Clinical Lead for Drug Misuse & Alcohol for NHS Nottingham City

Nigel Bongard and Terry Martin, Trustees, Alcohelp

Megan Harris, Speciality Registrar in Public Health

Dr Ben Rush, Public Health trainee, Nottingham City Council

Scott Crosby, Association of Directors of Public Health, Yorkshire and Humber